Inside immigration's war rooms
Maricela Aguilar leads a United We Dream meeting in the room where the group tracks members of Congress by post-it notes.
June 13th, 2013
10:03 AM ET

Inside immigration's war rooms

By Lisa Desjardins, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @LisaDCNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) – The U.S. Senate has officially begun the debate on immigration reform. However, it is only the last, and perhaps least, vocal step in what is a largely unseen and incredibly massive push and pull immigration from outside the Capitol.

[:43] "I think we should have a massive tweet attack on (Senator) Rubio," 22-year-old Maricela Aguilar suggested to her fellow staffers at United We Dream Wednesday.

The group is made of young Americans who were undocumented until President Obama created his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that grants temporary waivers to those who were brought into the country illegally as children.

In just the past two years, pro-reform United We Dream has grown from operating out of a single cubicle in Washington to taking over a good chunk of one floor on K Street.

A few blocks down the road, the Center for Immigration Studies, which opposes any legalization for undocumented people, is also a player in the debate.

Unlike United We Dream though, which focuses on activism and events with publicity, CIS has spent years doing research, hoping to guide debate consistently and with numbers.

[2:53] "We have to prepare for this sort of thing for, you know, years. And have," said CIS executive director Mark Krikorian.

For more on how these two players in the immigration debate work, listen to our story in the player above. Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. And listen to CNN Soundwaves on our SoundCloud page.

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. david

    Criminal behavior is changing the demographics in this country. My Senator views them like a drunk driver. You fine them and give them a second chance.

    June 19, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jake

    The CBO admits the Senate Bill will allow 46 Million new legal immigrants into the US by 2033. If Americans understood this staggering number no one in the US but illegal aliens would support Amnesty '13.

    June 19, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. cordopolitin

    If while in Mexico a "Foreigner" speaks politically they are first JAILED then Investigated then KICKED OUT of Mexico.

    In the USA freedom to petition the government is given to all FOREIGN and domestic. That is how it is today. CASH and assistance thru footwork and other help even up to working in the offices of our congressmen.

    The QUESTION is: Should it be the case that people in the world have the same rights and influence as AMERICAN CITIZENS?

    June 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. KBW

    Another amnesty will give a war they do not want.

    June 18, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mohan

    People from India came here and both husband and wife work very hard in IT Industry , wife has a project in one city, husband has project in one city both work hard pay all the taxes and have to wait 15 to 20 years to get green card. If 20 years they have to work for American employee they are ripping off them by paying only 40 % of their hourly rate. if conservatively assume 15 years to get Green Card both husband and wife has to work 2000 hour per year ,even American employer get 40 dollar hour , then American employer earns 2x2000x15 yearx40 dollar=2,40,0000 dollar , govt earns 25%=560,000 dollar, when you ask polician about Green Card, they tell per country quota. Person coming from Middle east, Pak, Nebal gets Green Card in 1 year, Indians wait for 15 years to get Green Card. In people came as refugee bombs cities, but Indians consider as sinners to USA Govt. When apply H1B There is no per country quota, because if indians not coming no H1B Quota gets filled, but Green Card per country quota, when people come in sport quota H1B no per country quota, US Immigration policy all do favor their government, When USA govt talks about human rights and all the nonsense, where the human rights for H1B Holder from India in USA. Go To Canada, UK, Singapore check their Immigration Policy.

    June 18, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • godblessamerica

      Stay in India and help developing your country...no one is asking you to come to the developed world, but if you do so don't expect to be treated like a citizen because to americans in particular, no one is good enough to be consider their equal!

      June 20, 2013 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |


    June 18, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. gullible white cattle

    Why cant 3rd world invaders dream in Mexico? this is not left vs right, GOP vs Dems, Socialism vs liberty. This is war against White people.

    Why do hostile globalist elite defend Israel as a Jewish ethnostate with Jewish only immigration, but ravage White majority Europe/North America into a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural Gulag with dystopian non-White colonization?

    The world is 93% non-White, only 7% White. But 3rd world colonizers, Muslims, Sikhs, Hispanics, are aggressively advancing their agenda to annihilate gullible Whites, just as China annihilates Tibet.

    How long will gullible Whites cuckold for murderous anti-White elite, who confiscate our guns, infiltrate/subvert our banks/FBI/CIA, indoctrinate White kids in academia/mass media, plunder White jobs/wages, & butcher White soldiers in bankrupting wars?

    "Native" Americans invaded from East Asia. Yellow & Brown races committed 10-times more genocide, slavery, imperialism than Whites. Since Old-Testament, Whites have been victims of Jewish/Crypto-Jewish, Turkic, Muslim, N.African imperialism, slavery, genocide.

    Gullible Whites should reject subversive ideologies- libertarianism, feminism, liberalism- & reject hostile slanders of racism. Peace to all humanity, but White people must organize to advance their interests, their fertility, their homelands. Spread this message. Reading list: goo.gl/iB777 , goo.gl/htyeq , amazon.com/dp/0759672229 , amazon.com/dp/1410792617

    June 13, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nital

      We are not gullible – it is just the politicians that run the country the ones voted in – always do their personal agendas
      most all think like you do – but – politically correctness is in charge these days

      June 17, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • just wondering

        we americans are very gullible... just look at the tea party, and the repuglicon party today...a group that tells us... minimum wage is good.. health care is bad... unregulated business is great... it goes on and on... yes many americans are ignorant and gullible

        June 17, 2013 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • AUDREY


      June 18, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |